Drop+ Ultrasone Signature X Review
Ultrasone Signature X Review
The Ultrasone Signature X was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn’t receive any kind of compensation and I don’t use affiliate links.
The price of the Signature X is $249 and you can buy it exclusively from Drop+.
Ultrasone Signature X
This is the first collaboration between Drop and the German brand Ultrasone.
Ultrasone is creating headphones, and setting ever-higher standards along the way. Founded in 1985, the company is all about the comprehensive approach, designing all of its headphones from scratch—with the research to back up every build.
Various technologies like S-Logic, which improves driver acoustics, and ULE, which reduces driver electromagnetic radiation, were developed as trying to create the best headphones possible.
The company is also committed to uncompromising quality, manufacturing nearly all of its headphones from its very own factory in Germany.
The Drop Ultrasone Signature X is a variation of Ultrasone’s popular Signature Series Pulse headphones, designed for DJs, with a sound signature that closely adheres to the bass-emphasized Harman target.
The Signature X keeps its predecessor’s bass-centric identity but it has a new tuning that adds energy to other areas of the frequency spectrum.
Built around an ultra-punchy low-end, the Drop Ultrasone Signature X also gets sparkling highs and clearly defined mids.
It’s a musical experience that hits hard and it’s bolstered by Ultrasone’s patented S-Logic® technology, which uses ear anatomy to dictate driver placement for more natural sounding acoustics.
The Signature Series Pulse was an adherence to the Harman Target Curve.
Drop tightened up the tuning to more closely match the Harman target curve in certain areas, while making key deviations in others, like boosting the bass and taming both the upper midrange and presence.
Ultrasone also contributed its S-Logic® technology, which places drivers in an offset forward and downward configuration to reach the ears much like a true stereo source.
The DJ pedigree is pretty apparent on the Ultrasone Signature X, the headphone is foldable with freely swiveling ear-cups that offer an 180° rotation and fit inside their high quality carrying case.
The headphone is made from hard plastic, it is well assembled and made durable to survive accidental drops and heavy abuse.
The headband has a thick padding that consists of perforated, breathable fabric at the inner part and faux-leather at the outer for extra durability.
The only complaint is some crackling noises every time you try to adjust the headband but it is something that doesn’t affect music listening as long as you don’t touch the headphone.
The detachable ear-pads are have a faux-leather outer surface with memory foam filling at the inside, they are slightly oval shaped but they are not large enough to house the ear.
The overall experience is like wearing an over-ear headphone but with some on-ear pressure points.
The clamping force is stronger than average, as said earlier this is literally a DJ headphone, so you get excellent passive noise attenuation but without squeezing your head in an annoying manner.
Cable and accessories
Like every DJ headphone, the Ultrasone Signature X comes with a high quality, heavy duty 3m long coiled cable with a 6.35mm plug at the end.
Additionally, a shorter 1.2m straight cable with a 3.5mm plug is also included and as a bonus you get a third, 1.2m long cable with an inline remote control/microphone and a 3.5mm plug.
The cables get attached to the left ear-cup by the means of a 2.5mm, twist-to-lock, plug.
Everything comes well packed inside a sturdy, hard carrying case.
Power requirements and associated gear
The Ultrasone Signature X has a 32Ω impedance with 115dB of nominal sensitivity so it is very easy to drive and you are not going to need something special.
A good quality portable USB DAC/amp, like the EarMen TR-Amp or even a powerful USB DAC dongle, like the iBasso DC03 Pro will suffice.
As per usual practice the Ultrasone Signature X was burned for about 100 hours before listening evaluation.
The overall sound signature is exactly as described on the marketing notes by Drop that you have read at the beginning of the review.
The Ultrasone Signature X is a headphone with boosted sub-bass and emphasized bass up to the mid-bass but in a combination with mid-range transparency and an energetic but not bright treble.
The headphone reminds of a 2.1 speaker setup where a well calibrated subwoofer is there to add low end physical impact and grunt.
The tuning is pretty impressive and well executed because the headphone is deliberately bass heavy and thundering but without letting the emphasized low end to mask and mess with the rest of the frequency spectrum.
There is plenty of sub-bass extension with a rumbling quality to it but at the same time you can hear crystal clear and well defined mids with an airy and sparkling treble.
The bass is thundering, visceral, full bodied and weighty, you can feel the physical impact inside your head and your ears dancing with the tunes.
The technicalities are generally good, the bass is extremely dynamic and well contrasted with acceptable definition, this is certainly not an one-note sounding bass, it is also mostly tight and moderately fast but not without some issues.
Despite Ultrasone applying a couple of tricks to improve technicalities and fight with the closed nature of the headphone, the truth is that this design principle will not allow for any miracles, especially when you boost the low end.
The bass is on the hollow side and not that well controlled, there is cup reverb, spatial echo and lack of sharpness in definition and layering while the decay is slower than desired.
The truth is that these issues are mostly noticeable when listening to acoustic music with a lot of low pitched instruments and not much of an issue with bass heavy tunes where the listener doesn’t have such critical demands.
The same applies to the overall frequency response of the bass register up to the mid-range which sounds out of tune when listening to classical music or similar genres but it works wonders when you switch to electronic and modern stuff where it adds plenty of fun factor and greatly enhances the party mood.
Listening to popular tunes by artists like Billie Eilish and such, the listener is rewarded with a juicy bass without losing in vocal clarity and treble definition.
Truly enough, the mid-range is balanced and evenly tuned with plenty of transparency and clarity.
It is musical and engaging, with a harmonious and natural timbre while the treble is airy and extended enough with plenty of light and energy to counterbalance the prominent low end so as the headphone doesn’t sound too dark and unilaterally bassy.
The treble though is not the last word in refinement and resolution, slightly lagging in detail retrieval while it is a touch drier and leaner than the bass or the mids but it is not artificial nor metallic sounding and additionally is very well tuned as not to cause brightness and listener fatigue.
You don’t have to listen to contemporary EDM music and such in order to appreciate and enjoy the sonic virtues of the Ultrasone Signature X.
If you are an old timer like me, you can have some great time revisiting the grand hits of the past, like New Order’s “True Faith” or the electrifying tunes of Jean Michelle Jare.
Whatever your listening habits are, you are going to discover that the Ultrasone Signature X is unexpectedly open sounding, with a wide and spacious soundstage for a closed headphone.
Positioning accuracy and imaging are quite satisfying for this type of headphone and the Signature X doesn’t sound congested and claustrophobic but unfortunately the presentation is mostly one dimensional without too much of deepness and holography.
In the end
Do you feel like partying?
Then grab your Ultrasone Signature X, throw in some favorite tunes and get ready for a long lasting and frenzy night.
The Ultrasone Signature X is a party animal, a headphone capable of some really deep and thundering bass but without sacrificing in vocal clarity and treble energy.
Add the excellent passive noise attenuation that will help you reach near deafening sound pressure levels without annoying or getting annoyed by your roommates and the party’s success is totally guaranteed.
Copyright – Petros Laskis 2023.
Pros: + Fun and exciting tuning
+ Boosted sub-bass
+ Thundering and impactful bass
+ The mid range is not lacking in definition and clarity
+ Energetic and extended treble
+ Spacious and open sounding without boxiness
+ Suitable for DJ’s and other professional applications
+ Easy to drive
+ High quality carrying case
+ Three different cables are included in the package
+ Durable and heavy duty construction
+ Foldable and lightweight
+ Excellent passive noise attenuation
Cons: – The bass is a bit hollow and not that controlled
– Not suitable for critical listening
– Treble could be more resolving and refined
– The soundstage is mostly flat
– The short diameter ear-pads will not fully accommodate larger ears
– The fit is more like an on-ear rather an over-ear headphone
– Clamping force is on the tight side
– Noisy during headband adjustment
Thanks for reading!